The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 20, 2008

Book review: ‘Artemis Fowl’ series hard to put down

‘Artemis Fowl’ series

By Eoin Colfer

If you like adventures, techno toys or fantasy … heck, if you like a good story, the “Artemis Fowl” series by Eoin (pronounced like “Owen”) Colfer is for you. Set in Ireland, this series is full of technology, adventure and characters that make all six books (so far) difficult to put down.

Artemis Fowl, our anti-hero, is a genius working pretty diligently to add “evil” to his genius status. His entire family tree is full of law-breakers, so being a criminal mastermind at the age of 12 is to be expected, right? With his fiercely loyal bodyguard, Butler (not his real name), a father who is presumed dead and a mother so wrapped up in her own grief that she can’t function, Artemis is free and capable of doing just about anything.

In the first book, Artemis has discovered that fairies and other creatures of myth exist and live in their highly advanced, subterranean civilization. He has devised a plan to replenish his family’s fortune by kidnapping a fairy and holding her for ransom. Unfortunately for LEPrecon (fairy police) officer Holly Short, she’s Artemis’ hostage. Artemis will go to great lengths to accomplish his goal, but with the likes of Foaly, a techno-guru centaur on their side, the fairies are pretty well-equipped to give Artemis and Butler a run for their money.

“The Arctic Incident” finds our fairy friend Holly Short and her LEPrecon Unit dealing with a plot that could expose the fairies’ existence to the entire human race. Meanwhile, Artemis has discovered that his father is, as he has always believed, alive and being held captive by the Russian mafia. The two forces — Fairy and Fowl — must band together to ensure that fairies stay secret and Artemis Sr. is rescued alive.

In “The Eternity Code,” Artemis is dead-set to complete one more criminal act before he goes legit. He has stolen fairy technology, made it into a supercomputer called the C Cube, and plans to sell it to American businessman Jon Spiro. Of course, things go wrong. First, the C Cube pings a fairy surveillance device (and threatens to expose fairies to the world at large), and then Spiro proves to be more maniacal than previously thought. Artemis has no choice but to call for the help of Holly Short to get the C Cube away from Spiro.

“The Opal Deception” centers on Opal Koboi, a pixie who — if not smarter — is definitely more evil than Artemis. Even though Artemis’ memories of his adventures with fairies (and all of the kindness he has learned because of them) have been wiped from his mind, Koboi still considers him Enemy No. 1. She has concocted a very elaborate plan to destroy Artemis and her other enemies — especially Holly Short and the fairy police. Part of her plan, of course, is to rule the world. The entire world. Obviously, she must be stopped, and who better to stop her than Artemis, Holly and the gang?

“The Lost Colony” gives Artemis his greatest challenge yet: puberty. On top of that, Artemis realizes that another-dimensional world full of demons who want to get revenge on humans is quickly unraveling and will soon collide with our own. Artemis calculates when the next inter-dimensional contact will be — and where — only to be out-smarted by the very attractive 12-year-old Minerva, who kidnaps the creature that appears. Now, Artemis must rescue the imp (a demon who hasn’t “warped”) which launches the usual suspects on a truly fantastic, inter-dimensional adventure.

Still can’t get enough Artemis? “The Time Paradox” takes Artemis back in time to battle his 10-year-old self so that he can find the cure for his mother’s mysterious and deadly disease.

Cari Boatright Rérat is the teen librarian at Joplin Public Library.